mental health

Madeline Fox / Kansas News Service

Troubles in the Kansas foster care system might stem in large part from a shortage of places that can help children in psychiatric crisis, say some lawmakers and child advocate groups.

Since 2013, the number of psychiatric residential treatment facilities in Kansas has dropped from 11 to eight, with 222 fewer available beds.

Sedgwick County

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter is asking state lawmakers to consider adding regional mental health facilities to improve access to treatment and speed up the evaluation process.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas sheriffs are asking lawmakers for help in dealing with mental health issues affecting counties statewide.

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter, representing the Kansas Sheriffs' Association, provided a snapshot of the situation at a workshop in Topeka this week.

Madeline Fox / Kansas News Service

Today, when mentally ill Kansans land in a psychiatric hospital or behind bars, they lose Medicaid coverage. When they’re freed, the daunting chore of signing up for government health coverage starts from scratch.

Now, a push gaining steam among state lawmakers would merely pause that coverage, keeping care and critical medications ready for mental health patients when they get out.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File Photo

Gov. Sam Brownback wants to add hundreds of new counselors to public schools in Kansas over the next five years, if those counselors can be found.

Neil Conway, flickr Creative Commons

When Kansans on Medicaid are incarcerated or treated at residential mental health facilities, their Medicaid benefits are terminated. Mental health advocates hope to change that during the upcoming legislative session by pushing for a bill that would instead suspend those benefits.

iStock illustration

A mental health organization in Kansas is seeking solutions from the state after a national report shows ongoing disparities in mental health coverage.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Inspectors arrived Tuesday at Osawatomie State Hospital to determine whether the state-run psychiatric facility can regain its federal certification and, with it, its Medicare funding.

Betty Lee/Ars Electronica / flickr

One out of four people in Kansas have a mental illness, and the latest estimates show that 13 percent aren’t receiving treatment. A grassroots mental illness organization is trying to change that.

The state of Kansas is scrambling to regain federal funding for one of its psychiatric hospitals and to prevent the decertification of another.

Officials at the agency responsible for the state’s mental health hospitals say they’re confident that the renovations needed to fix problems at the Larned State Hospital, problems turned up by a recent inspection, will be completed in time to avoid a threatened loss of federal funding in January.

The renovations, aimed at reducing the risk of patients hanging or strangling themselves, are expected to cost about $1 million.